The arts of peace are not to him unknown;
This happy way he march’d into the throne;
And we owe more to Heaven than to the sword,
The wish’d return of so benign a lord.
Charles! by old Greece with a new freedom graced,
Above her antique heroes shall be placed. 70
What Theseus did, or Theban Hercules,
Holds no compare with this victorious peace,
Which on the Turks shall greater honour gain,
Than all their giants and their monsters slain:
Those are bold tales, in fabulous ages told;
This glorious act the living do behold.
 ‘Year 1683’: see History.  ‘Peace is signed’: the Peace of Nimeguen.
Since James the Second graced the British throne,
Truce, well observed, has been infring’d by none;
Christians to him their present union owe,
And late success against the common foe;
While neighb’ring princes, both to urge their fate,
Court his assistance, and suspend their hate.
So angry bulls the combat do forbear,
When from the wood a lion does appear.
This happy day peace to our island sent,
As now he gives it to the Continent. 10
A prince more fit for such a glorious task,
Than England’s king, from Heaven we cannot ask;
He, great and good! proportion’d to the work,
Their ill-drawn swords shall turn against the Turk.
Such kings, like stars with influence unconfined,
Shine with aspect propitious to mankind;
Favour the innocent, repress the bold,
And, while they flourish, make an age of gold.
Bred in the camp, famed for his valour, young;
At sea successful, vigorous, and strong; 20
His fleet, his array, and his mighty mind,
Esteem and rev’rence through the world do find.
A prince with such advantages as these,
Where he persuades not, may command a peace.
Britain declaring for the juster side,
The most ambitious will forget their pride;
They that complain will their endeavours cease,
Advised by him, inclined to present peace,
Join to the Turk’s destruction, and then bring
All their pretences to so just a king. 30
If the successful troublers of mankind,
With laurel crown’d, so great applause do find,
Shall the vex’d world less honour yield to those
That stop their progress, and their rage oppose?
Next to that power which does the ocean awe,
Is to set bounds, and give ambition law.
The British monarch shall the glory have,
That famous Greece remains no longer slave;
That source of art and cultivated thought!
Which they to Rome, and Romans hither brought. 40
The banish’d Muses shall no longer mourn,
But may with liberty to Greece return;
Though slaves (like birds that sing not in a cage),
They lost their genius, and poetic rage;
Homers again, and Pindars, may be found,
And his great actions with their numbers crown’d.